Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fair and Balanced

Predictably the "national" hockey media's reports on last night's Blue Jackets v. Maple Leafs affair is pretty much tilted towards all the things the Leafs did wrong. In reading the recaps this morning the only thing the Blue Jackets did correctly was score a shorthanded goal. The rest of the game it seems the Jackets just watched the Leafs bumble around the ice.

Of course if you were there or watched the game on TV, you probably noticed the Jackets did a little more than watch the Leafs make mistakes. They spent a fair amount of time forcing the Leafs into situations to make those mistakes.

Coming into the game, we were warned of the Leafs' speed. How it would be just like Montreal's (it wasn't). How the Jackets better be ready for it (they were). The local beat writers even put together a blog post, "Preparing for the Pace" meant to prime us for what was about to come barreling into Nationwide Arena.

Then the game started, and for the first 3 minutes I thought all the warnings were correct. But, following the first 3 minutes the Leafs had tallied 1 whole shot on goal and the Jackets were keeping them outside quite a bit. Then the speed tables turned.

In a hurry.


In a rush.

All puns intended.

The Jackets hit the gas, hard.

1st Period, 4:16 - TOR D. Clarkson Hooking against N. Foligno

A power play goal followed that, and the natives were happy. (The few thousand Leaf fans in the stands, not as happy.) The forecheck followed. Blue Jackets all over the puck, all over the ice. Pressure, speed, more pressure, and skating.

Boone Jenner gets a step to the outside and...

1st Period, 11:54 - M. Rielly Holding against B. Jenner

No power play goal followed that one, but the first period ice was quickly tilting the Jackets way. When the horn sounded to signify the end of the first period, the Jackets had a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard and a 16-5 lead in shots on goal.

2nd Period, 13:40 - M. Rielly Tripping against N. Foligno
2nd Period, 19:51 - N. Kadri Hooking against B. Comeau
3rd Period, 17:09 - D. Bolland Tripping against M. Gaborik

That's 5 minor penalties, 5 power plays for the good guys, all resulting in classic "oh crap he's about to blow by me" calls on a defender.

Speed kills...the Jackets' speed, that is.

Clarkson's Triumphant Return

Fedor Tyutin would like to welcome Mr. Clarkson back from his suspension...

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